Telstra's FttN a NoGoNetwork

Telstra’s Next G network masks FttN demands

Telstra is hiding behind its Next G Network to avoid improving much-needed, national, fixed broadband infrastructure, analysts say.

Telstra launched the $1.1 billion 3GSM network last week which offers download speeds of up to 1.5Mbps peaking at 3.6Mbps.

According to analysts, the Australian Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission's (ACCC) inability to enforce its own anti-monopoly broadband laws has allowed Telstra to stall ADSL2+ and Fibre to Node development until "forced to do so by its competitors or through regulations, which could be as late as 2009."

BuddeComm managing director Paul Budde said while Telstra customers want a better broadband service rather than another mobile network, the telco's grip on the national infrastructure means competitors will need to band together to compete.

"While Telstra has been saying 'we are listening to our customers', I haven't heard any of them asking for yet another mobile network; instead they are screaming for better, fixed broadband services, but Telstra doesn't want to hear any of those messages," Budde said.

"While there is a chance that the regional network could establish infrastructure-based competition it is going to take a long time, and it will depend on industry cooperation because no single entity has the slightest chance of taking on Telstra."

Without real infrastructure-based competition, there is no incentive for Telstra to roll out [FttN or fixed broadband NGNs] until they are either forced to do so by competitors or through regulations [as] it would prefer to wait until it has finished [Next G] so it can spread out the investments."

Budde said Australia is being held at ransom while Telstra drags ACCC legislation through the courts, stalling fixed broadband development and enabling it to suck revenue from existing infrastructure and develop unnecessary mobile networks.

This, he says, is dragging Australia behind other countries that are rolling out NGN-critical FttN infrastructure.

Budde said the stalling of FttN will affect economic growth, export opportunities and social services such as e-health, tele-education and e-government.

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